Wednesday, June 1, 2016

High Bridge Trail

A couple weekends ago we went on an epic bike ride.  It was quite the journey!  Clark needed a final 22-mile bike ride for his biking merit badge.  Lee found a great trail that was two hours away, and I thought it would be fun to take the whole family. Right after the Father's and Son's camp out the guys drove straight to our rendezvous point-the stake center. I figured that would be a great place to leave Lee's van for the rest of the day.  After we missed our turn (which added an extra 15 minutes and sadly me being a little frustrated about that) we finally found the entrance to the trail and parked about three blocks away.  While unloading, it was Lee's turn to be frustrated as he forgot Clark's seat clamp in the van back in Waynesboro.  Lee found a hardware store in town and road over there on Clark's seat-less bike to get a clamp.  In the meantime I took the kids over to the trail entrance. 
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While we were at the entrance we took pictures and hung out.  I noticed a bike shop right there and called Lee.  He was just leaving the hardware store, thankfully decided to go ahead and buy the clamp he had, then met us at the bike store.  The bike store didn't have a regular seat clamp (Lee figured they wouldn't) but the guy there gave Lee some electrical tape for free so Lee could wrap the seat post in tape, then put the clamp on.  After Lee changed into biking clothes we were finally ready to leave...over an hour later that I had wanted.
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It was a sunny, lovely afternoon.  The trail was great and everyone was moving forward.  Some of us were going different speeds, so Lee and Clark finally took off with Cal and Shanna.  We decided that if anything Lee and Clark would go on ahead from the rest of us since Clark needed to do this ride.  Over a mile into the ride, Haley's chain came off.  Now I'm not a bike fixer person, but I can put a chain back on.  I've done it several times, actually.  Haley's bike had a metal chain guard *ugh* and I could NOT get the chain back on.  I tried to rip the metal guard off, but I'm not that strong.  I did keep bending it and after at least ten whole minutes, Haley and I finally had the chain in place. Elden patiently waited.  I don't think we had even started pedaling, when here came Cal and Shanna.  Lee (thankfully) sent them back to find us because we were taking so long.  And you can ride quite a ways in ten minutes!  On their way back it started raining and Shanna's tire popped.  Not the tube, the tire.  It sacred both of them and there were some tears on the way and when they saw me.  Poor kids.  Thankfully the trail doesn't have other trails branching off, so it was super easy to find me...just turn around and ride.  There was nothing to do but to go back.  The High Bridge was about 3.5 miles away and we weren't about to walk our bikes there.  I'm glad I had discovered the bike shop earlier. 

The kids rode bikes back (Haley on mine) while I ran and pushed Shanna's back.  Thankfully the guy was able to put a new tire on Shanna's bike right then. I didn't have any money on me, so while he did that we went back to get jackets, get my debit card, and take off that silly metal chain guard on Haley's bike.  We headed back to the shop, in the rain, and then Cal's chain came off.  That was an easy fix, which was great!  After picking up Shanna's bike (all done, yay!) we headed back out in the rain.  We had come too far to just sit in our vehicle.  So we started back. It rained even harder too, and we were pretty soaked.  Haley's chain kept falling off--10 times total, I think. The whole time from when we parked to unload bikes through riding in the rain, Elden was Mr. Positive, and Mr. We're-a-Team-Man.  It was really cute, sweet, and needed.

On our way back to get the tire fixed the kids spotted a turtle.
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Well, that was all of the drama (except for Haley's chain continuously coming off!).  Just about the time we saw the bridge, we saw Lee and Clark.  They had ridden 11 miles out, turned around and were on their last 4.5 miles of the trip. Because of the nice, flat trail, they rode 22 miles in about 2 hours.  Not too bad!  Lee and Clark took a little detoured, turned around and came back on the bridge with us to a look out.  Cal was pretty nervous about the bridge.  High Bridge is very high up, really! Ha ha.  It's the longest recreational bridge in Virginia--it used to be a railroad bridge.  If you go on it and back, it's about 3/4 a mile.
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So pretty!
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Cal and Haley came with me all the way across the bridge and back. 
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After lots of prayers--thanks to Cal--the afternoon finished off nice as you can see from the above pictures with lots of sun shine.  We dried out too, which was a bonus!

We hit up a local Mexican restaurant that night, El Patron.
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Here is a photo of the bridge.  Pretty cool!  I'm glad we made it to the bridge despite the initial craziness. The four kids and I did about 12 miles that day. Something I struggle with is changes in in when plans go wrong... I could have dealt with the blips better that day, for sure.  I'm glad it all ended smoothly though. And I would love to go back to this trail again sometime. 
High Bridge Trail

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